Part fourteen of Misplaced Fire
Downtown Gatlinburg was lit up in its full glory, The smell of fudge, burgers, and tour trolleys permeated the air. There was a crowd, but they weren’t trampling each other. Nesrin and Aravis automatically compared the lights, crowds, and smells to the Mobile Mardi Gras festivities they’d been part of just a few hours ago, and concluded that the present setting was better.
The four natural-born partial hidden ones stood on the sidewalk as if they’d just taken a short walk into town. Isabelle and Jason, however, were slack-jawed and pointing at the lights. Their eyes were glazed over, and they were stumbling around more or less at random.
Nesrin smiled and leaned on a wall. “Anyone still think this is gonna work?”
Ceylan’s lips pursed in a trademark “look-like-I’m-thinking-so-they-don’t-know-I’m-clueless” expression.
Dinah poked Jason’s forehead. His face lit up with wonder.
“I just realized how goldfish feel when you tap the tank.”
Isabelle snapped her fingers. “We need to turn into goldfish and test that.”
Aravis laughed. “They sound like me first time I flew like this.”
Dinah, Nesrin, and Ceylan nodded and said, “Oooohhh” in unison.
Isabelle and Jason were already used to the sensation of flying at jinn speed thanks to Nesrin’s efforts, or so they thought. They’d know the world would blur to black around them, and they’d known they wouldn’t feel any wind. When Nesrin had transported them in the past it had always left them a little disoriented, and they were expecting the same result this time. They hadn’t expected the exhilaration, the quickening heartbeat, the sense of freedom and power, of actively traveling that fast under their own power. It was comparable to the feeling of driving a car at over 100 miles per hour with the windows down on an open highway to the tune of a favorite song, if that feeling were magnified a thousand and one times over. They also hadn’t expected the level of runner’s high they would feel afterwards.
“Sorry,” Nesrin said, “We’re all so used to the feeling we forgot to warn ya. It won’t last long, so enjoy it now. What did you wanna do here, anyway?”
Jason and Isabelle looked at each other. They both asked the other “Do you remember?” at once. They trailed off and started pointing at the lights again, then Isabelle snapped her fingers.
“I got it. We were gonna do one of the fudge places and go home.”
“Dull,” Dinah scoffed.
“Indeed,” Ceylan remarked. “We should at least make it a winery.”
Aravis put up a hand. “They have really great dinner shows down the mountain in Pigeon Forge.”
Jason latched onto her shoulder. “That had dinner and show in it; let’s do it.”
Dinah considered the options. “I agree if we see the one with the horses.”
“Works for me,” Nesrin said, tapping the metal on the bracelet behind her back.
Continued next week
Link to previous installments: https://anindeterminatenumberofnights.blog/category/misplaced-fire/
Author’s note: I should mention that the town in the picture is not actually Gatlinburg, but rather (I believe) the nearby Pigeon Forge. I didn’t have one of my pictures of Gatlinburg itself handy.
I also note, with some concern, that I had to edit the post not once but a few times after the original publication to correct glaring mistakes. This is the penalty for typing too quickly and not taking the time to properly proofread.